Age discrimination is the practice of treating someone unfairly based on the age of the individual.
This unfair treatment can be at workplace or while providing housing facilities or elsewhere. The government and the states have passed many laws to safeguard the interests of the employees from being discriminated on the basis of age.One of the laws, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed to prevent discrimination. However, instances of age discrimination have not reduced. On the contrary they have increased with more and more cases being filed every year.
So, why are people discriminated on the basis of age or simply, what exactly is age discrimination?
If someone treats an individual unfairly or less favorably as compared to other individuals, on the basis of their age, then this is age discrimination. Here, the individual is being judged only on the basis of his/her age and no regard is given to the credentials, qualifications, relevant experience or other merits of an individual. This is what makes this type of discrimination illegal. The judgment or more so, bias, is based on perception or stereotypes of individuals of different ages.
In case of employment, during the hiring process the application of an elderly aspirant is rejected because of the common notion that older people are slower in their work, are judgmental and more importantly, are not receptive to changes, newer methods or latest trends. In contrast, even an younger applicant can be refused an offer of job. This happens in cases where the job requires an individual who commands authority and respect. The employers are under the perception that a younger person will not be able to command authority due to his/her age, despite having the right qualifications and relevant work experience.
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